Knit Coffee & Tea Cozies

By Kate Riley March 8, 2012

I have this friend named Terri, we’ve been friends for 15 years.  We met in law school and we’ve seen each other married and become mothers over the years and even though we live in different parts of California, all this time we’ve stayed connected over the phone. Terri and her husband both practice criminal law, and we got to talking a few months ago about how important it is for everyone to have a creative outlet, regardless of your day job.  Having a creative hobby is essential to stress relief and personal enjoyment, and for Terri, it’s knitting.

I am not a knitter, and have no idea how to crochet yet.  I still don’t understand how you can take a piece of yarn and twist in certain ways with needles to make beautiful things, but I really want to learn so my plan is to force Terri to teach me when she comes to visit this spring.

I asked Terri if she could knit something for me just so I could show her off, so she knit me two coffee cozies. I’ve seen them on Etsy but always wanted one of my own.  How sweet and talented is my friend who sent this to me?

orange coffee cozy


Please welcome my good friend Terri and her story on how she knits a coffee cozy. 

“Kate and I went to law school together about a million years ago or at least it just feels like a million years. We were on the phone recently catching up with each other when I told her that I’d taken up knitting. Kate hinted that she’d always wanted a coffee cozy and asked if I would make her some.  She mentioned burnt orange – so I said “Okay, I can do that,”  and looked in my yarn collection to find some yarn in that color.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the first cozy: seed stitch. For those of you who don’t knit, seed stitch is very easy to knit and shows off the beautiful yarn. I used a size 7 needle and cast on about three inches.

“Seed stitch consists of single knits and purls that alternate horizontally and vertically. Seed stitch gets its name from the texture of the knitted fabric — the little purl bumps look like scattered seeds.  Seed stitch creates an interesting texture and is included in many patterns. Seed stitch lies flat, making it a good edging for a sweater border and cuffs. The knitted fabric also looks the same from both sides, making it a nice choice for scarves and other pieces of which both sides are visible.  When working seed stitch, you alternate between knit and purl stitches in each row. The trick to creating the little “seeds” is to knit in the purl stitches of the previous row and purl in the knit stitches of the previous row. ” – How to Knit a Seed Stitch from

I found some really cute buttons and decided I’d use them on this cozy. I knitted in seed stitch until the piece measured about nine inches. Then I made a couple of working yarn over buttonholes. I knit about another ½ to 1 inch after the button hole and cast off.

seed stitch coffee cozy


Next, I wanted to do something a little fancier. I love the cable stitch. it’s easy to do, but looks like it would be difficult. I found some blue yarn in my stash (stash = leftover yarn) and knew it would show off the cable stitch well. I again used my trusty size 7 needles. Much like golf where I fall back on my number 7 club, the number 7 is the go-to needle for me. You will also need a cable needle for this pattern. This cozy is made in an eight row repeat pattern.

cable knit coffee cozy

Cabling is the process of crossing one group of stitches over another. It’s easier if I put the pattern in knitspeak so forgive me if it seems like Greek!

Cast on 20 stitches and began the pattern as follows: Row 1 – k2, p2, k2, p8, k2, p2, k2. Row 2 – k4, p2, k8, p2, k4. Rows 3, 5 and 7 same as row 1. Rows 4 and 6 same as row 2.

cable knit step 1

Row 8 is the cable row so it’s a bit different in the center. Row 8 – k4, p2, place 4 stitches on the cable needle, pull to the FRONT, k4 stitches off the back needle, k4 stitches off the cable needle, p2, k4. Repeat from row 1.

cable knit step 2

It sounds far more complicated than it is, but it’s very easy once you learn it and produces lots of wows from your friends.  For another tutorial on knitting cables, look here.

All of the yarns used were Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash made of 100% Superwash Wool. The beauty of this yarn, besides knitting so nicely, is that it’s washable. If you’re anything like me, you will need to have a washable yarn near your coffee!

I hope you enjoyed these coffee cozies. It was a fun way to dispose of my stash. Thank you Kate for allowing me to participate on your blog!”

* * * * *

So here are my two coffee cozies made especially for me by my good friend Terri that arrived in the mail a few days ago.  Aren’t they fabulous?  I absolutely love them! 

blue and orange coffee cozies


Didn’t Terri do an amazing job? She needs her own shop on Etsy! Isn’t it wonderful to have creative and generous friends?  I think it’s just about the nicest thing on earth. 

Thank you so much Terri! 





  1. These are so great! Think I just found a simple and beautiful gifts for all my friends birthdays!! ThankyouthankyouTHANKYOU!!!!

  2. I picked up my crochet hooks and yarn again a few weeks ago. Thanks to a friend for pointing me to mikeysmail on Youtube who makes crocheting look easy (if a guy is teaching it – it must be easy !). I’m working on a queen size afghan for my son’s bed in navy, charcoal gray and light gray in cable pattern.

  3. Those are soo cute, Kate! Excellent job, Terri! I know how to knit, but I should say I knit at a kindergarten level. haha I know how to do the knit stitch, pearl and seed stitch and that’s about it. I’ve only ever knitted scarves and a tote bag. And I might add, I knit by wingin’ it. I don’t really know how to read a pattern, so I just make it up as I knit. These coffee cozies are right at my level. ; ) I’ll definitely have to give them a try!!

    Thanks for the inspiration ladies!! : )

  4. I wish Terri had an Etsy shop! These are so pretty and what a sweet gift from your friend. I’d love to learn to knit. I always walk the yarn aisle and admire the beautiful yarns.

  5. Amazing job, really! She MUST start an Etsy shop!! So nice of her to make these for you. I really like the blue color, cable stitch design :)

  6. I LOVE these…burnt orange is an amazing color, too.
    She SHOULD start a shop….bet she could sell every one of these she made.:)

  7. OH!! I thought I’d leave knitting/crocheting and quilt-sewing to when I’m older and can’t do the more back-breaking DIY projects….but found just the other day that I was having a hard time threading the sewing machine needle! Whatever am I going to do now?!

    Love those cozies so much!

  8. I admire those that can knit and crochet, I do not have that gene! Love the cozies, too!

  9. So Cute! I love those….I too have seen them on Etsy and have wanted to try one out! Love the pumpkin color with the rustic buttons!

  10. Love the blue cable knit ones! Its like the coffee has a little scarf :) And better for the environment to re-use these instead of the cardboard ones the coffee shops give out !

  11. Kate,

    I have been knitting since July. I found a weekly meet-up for knitters and crocheters at the local library and I learn from others which is fantastic. It’s free too, and older attendees who are downsizing are always giving me yarn. So my hobby is (mostly) free. :-) I am hoping to learn crochet from one of the members this year.

    I recommend YouTube tutorials when you are learning a new stitch. Your friend Terri can get you started with the basics but YouTube is there 24/7 for when you want to learn on your own. I also rent knitting books from the library and try new patterns from them.

    I have knit several gifts so far and what Terri said is correct—the cable knit ALWAYS wows my friends. When I give them a choice of what they would like me to make them, it’s always a cable knit something. :-)

    I am exploring the opportunity to open an Etsy store. Knitting is a hobby of mine but I can only do it in the evenings after work so it takes me a few days work to make a hat, for instance. There is a lot of competition on Etsy for knitted pieces, so I am trying to teach myself some unique patterns to help my store stand out if I decide to launch one.

    I love love love knitting. It was frustrating for a good month while I got the hang of it, but ever since it’s been rewarding.

  12. Wow Debbie, your story is so inspiring! It seems like such a relaxing hobby, especially cause you can chill out in front of a movie and whip up something fabulous, I can’t wait to learn and thanks for the You Tube recommendations!

  13. how cool is that!!!!!! what a creative a pretty idea to do that!

  14. Lovely and quick projects that are perfect for a beginner. My mom taught me to knit when I was about 9 or 10 so I always felt comfortable with it (that’s the great thing about learning something when you are young). Then, while living overseas in my 20s I couldn’t work so that is what I did – morning, noon, and night. Back then (in the dinosaur days) I had a very good book and that was all I needed to learn complicated stitches (in french no less). I was a knitting fool making sweaters for my husband and I to the tune of at least one a month. I wish I hadn’t given them all away because many of them would have made beautiful pillows. Oh well, maybe I should get my needles out again.

  15. I’ve been crocheting a wee little bit, but her knitting lingo might as well be Chinese. At any rate, these coffee cozies are wonderful! I love how they came out. You’ll be one styling mama at Starbucks. :)

  16. Thanks so much for the pattern! I am a new knitter and wanted a small project to learn the cable knit. I am almost finished with mine and it came out great!

  17. Thank you so much for the cable knit instructions! They were detailed and wonderful! I have only been knitting for about a month and I was excited to try out this new stitch. Your instructions were so clear! First try = success!

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